Welcome to StarryCritters.com.

IGES/NASA Hubble Gold Star WinnerThis site combines the wonders of space with the imagination of children. We’ve all sat back on a summer’s day and watched the clouds drift by but how many of us still see dragons, birds, fish and clowns in the sky? The same can be said for the beautiful and amazing images gathered from the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope and other observatories. For hundreds of years, scientists have named nebula and clusters after animals here on Earth. We have the Owl Nebula, Horsehead Nebula, the tadpole, the mice, Eagle Nebula and many others.

Note to Parents and Educators

The content on StarryCritters ranges from simple explanations of astronomical terms and concepts to more detailed discussions. Links also range from simple information to more complex. We believe the explanations are best suited for parents, educators and upper grade students. Parents of younger children may find it helpful to sit with their child and explore the universe together using the explanatory text as a guide. Interact with the images and find your own patterns in the stars. Leave a comment on the site about what you see in the images. We love to share your stories.

Sit back, enjoy and share the wonders of space with a child; or simply enjoy the journey yourself.

About TerraZoom – The Creator of StarryCritters

John Williams is a NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador, science writer, web designer and developer in Denver. If you live in the Denver or northern Colorado area and would like to have John present at your school or organization about StarryCritters or any other space topic and NASA mission, please email him.

View more complete contact information.

The Solar System Ambassadors Program is a public outreach program designed to work with motivated volunteers across the nation. These volunteers communicate the excitement of JPL’s space exploration missions and information about recent discoveries to people in their local communities.


The ancient peoples saw pictures in the sky. From those patterns in the heavens, ancient storytellers created legends about heroes, maidens, dragons, bears, centaurs, dogs and mythical creatures...
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